Black Magic Cinema Camera


Hot off the heels of the exciting news about the digital Bolex and then Sony releasing about 3 new cameras in a week, namely the NEX-FS700, PMW-100 and HXR-NX30E (which has a built in projector!) I will be having a quick roundup of some new Sony technology in the next barnesytv blog post.

All this exciting news has been over shadowed by the announcement of the Black Magic Cinema Camera.

black magic cinema camera
Black Magic Cinema Camera

It is a game changing camera at a crazy low price. In fact they have actually lowered the price since I ordered it from £1925 to £1811.76 those very nice creative video people!

As with the digital bolex the camera shoots 13 stops of latitude and the option of DNXHD ProRes or raw, something that we have all wanted but only been available on RED, ARRI and other top level expensive cameras. It has been enjoyed by still photographers and timelapse junkies for ages, they are spoilt as they can virtually shoot any resolution they want in RAW and with HDR to get amazingly stunning cinematography. Us mortals that require to shoot 24 to 30 HD frames a second all day are generally denied the luxury of RAW.Not now, enter the …. I am sorry I can’t keep calling it the Black Magic Cinema Camera, maybe Barnesycam as referred to in my other blog, here I’ll use BMCC.

With the arrival of the BMCC many of camera enthusiasts wishes have been delivered, I can’t wait to get shots from this into the edit suites and see the sublime pictures.

Great narrative workflow


There are many ways to cut a story. Editors like to throw pictures around and production types often like to use words in a word processor to tell a story, oh and those other creatives, what are they called, oh yeah writers… An established way to work like this is to is to transcribe the interviews and any speech then edit in a word processor and then work out timecodes to tell the editor what to cut. This is very good from an editorial point of view but slow in process. Check out this article from Larry Jordan about PR edit, it is a cool bridging piece of software that enables Premiere and Final Cut to work together to auto transcribe, edit as text but carry metadata to get a cut list automatically after the words have been cut in  a WP!

  • Create text transcripts automatically in Premiere.
  • Export the transcripts as an XML file
  • Review and edit the transcripts in prEdit as text files
  • Select the clips you want to build into a sequence
  • Export the selected clips as an XML file
  • Open that XML file in Final Cut Pro, or Premiere, as an edited sequence.

This is great for reducing the amount of time in suites (as a post company why am I letting you in on it!) as you can get the producers, directors, assistant producers to cut a narrative structure before it even sees a suite.

The reason I am letting you in on it? we hate going round in circles in suites or having to charge you more than we need to get an incisive, entertaining or informative programme to hit the airwaves/webwaves.

So check out Larry’s article and save time, money and make better content.


Remember Bolex, what about a digital one!


What an interesting project, you can support these guys through kick starter or check them out on their website

It would be great to grade RAW from this camera, I hope it happens and we get some footage to edit.

Basically this gives amazing 2K RAW footage for $3000, I hope it gets made as it would really sell I am sure, it does not follow the current “I want a bigger sensor” fashion but it would make great looking films and there are plenty of C-mount lenses out there from security cameras at low F numbers to help with  depth of field choices. Of course anyone with 16mm lenses already would be able to use all their existing glass. What about sound? well the spec is for real XLR connections and uncompressed sound, great!

Here are the specs, you can download the specs as a pdf at their web site.

Resolution 2048 x 1152 (Super 16mm mode) + 1920 x 1080 pixels (16mm mode)
Format Adobe Cinema DNG, TIFF, JPEG Image sequences
Colour depth 12 bit – 4:4:4
File size 2 to 3 MB per frame in RAW
Sensor Kodak CCD: 12.85 mm (H) x 9.64 mm (V) – Similar to Super 16mm
Pixel Size 5.5 micron (compared to the 4.3 micron size of many DSLRs)
Framerate up to 32 fps at 2K, 60fps at 720p, 90 fps at 480p
Sound Balanced, 2 channel, 16 bit, 48 kHz via XLR
Viewfinder 320×240, 2.4” diagonal, with Focus Assist
Video out 640 x 480 B&W via ⅛” video jack (HD-SDI avail in separate unit)
Ports ⅛” video, headphone, USB 3.0, Audio XLR (2), 4-PIN XLR
Data Storage Dual CF card slots, SSD (buffer drive)
Power Internal battery, 12V External via 4 pin XLR port
Body Milled steel and hard plastic
Size (body) Approximately 5”H (without pistol grip) by 4”W by 8”D
Size (grip) 5”H by 2”W by 5”D
Lens mount C-mount comes standard; Optional PL, EF, B4
Weight 5lbs
ISO Options 100, 200, 400
Also in the box pistol grip, USB 3.0 cable, internal battery, 4 pin XLR Battery, cable, video cable, transcoder/raw conversio

This reminds me a little of an Ikonoskop camera which was 2K RAW but now is HD RAW with a 16mm sensor 10.6 x 6mm. The digital bolex sensor is bigger at super 16 size.


With any RAW camera you will be getting through cards quickly as RAW eats up data and you will be getting about 1 frame for each 2 to 3 megs, so that is around 5 gigs per minute.

A 32 gig card is only going to deliver 6.5 minutes of footage so data wrangling will be the order of the day on shoots. The sensor is a Kodak sensor and is CCD so no rolling shutter! I do dislike the picture break up you get with CMOS. It makes me wonder what camera the Kodak chip is in or destined to be in commercially?


Liverpool edit suites take shape


The main video suite started to take shape in Liverpool today, very exciting. After only a morning of juggling wood, panels, bolts, steel legs etc. structure started to form.

We also made a start on the sound dubbing suite which will also double as video edit suite too. So good to be finally building after all the ideas.

Check back as things shape up in the future, if you want to edit or dub in Liverpool get in touch and we can be chatting while we build, even customise for you!

What do you do with an old G5?


I know it is a little too soon for a spring clean but I am working on organising our kit and post setup into a more efficient operation. I am leaning towards keeping the Manchester operation Mac based and the Liverpool operation PC based with software along the Avid/premiere/resolve route.

I have had my quad core G5 now for many years and it is getting a little bit long in the tooth. We still use it for final cut editing but only with version 6 and we have an Avid Xpress Pro on it too. It has been a good workhorse but the limitations are now that we cannot use any Intel based software and once we have upgraded a project to Final Cut 7 in Edit 1 we can’t open it in Edit 2. So what could we use it for?

I have decided that as I am too tight to throw it away and hate waste so it still needs to earn it’s keep! We have been using a simple setup where the 8 core Mac pro has a SCSI RAID attached and we connect the G5 and laptops etc to the Mac pro via a Small tree 4 port gigabit card. It isn’t a full blown SAN but it does work, we have had 3 or 4 suites all capturing/ingesting at the same time and the SCSI RAID can keep up. We rarely access the same material from different stations.

My new plan is to use the G5 just for ingest, backup and to act as a server. We have loads of hard drives coming through the system with e-sata but we have no way of using the drives in that mode so to increase speed we need e-sata on the Macs. This way you can also keep smaller jobs on drives that you can edit on and pass from one part of the process to another. For example we did some work on a pilot show for Lime Pictures where we transcoded and organised the material in the Avid and then sent the drives to London for the edit. Using the e-sata drives meant that the DNxHD 185X material was able to be edited from the e-sata direct and also passed on for grading. An efficient workflow if backups are done en route!

Once we have e-Sata connections we could use a Sonnet Qio which means that we would have fast ingest of all the main cards, P2, SxS, SD, CF. This can also be used on location in conjunction with e-sata drives for fast data wrangling.

Sonnet Qio card reader











Another benefit of using the e-sata is that you can use external RAID boxes to increase storage. If you have not been using RAID setups then you have missed a great way to safeguard your assets, speed up your editing and give good upgrade functionality. Once you have your enclosure you can usually upgrade the discs for bigger capacities as the disks get larger and cheaper. We started with 6 x 500 gig drives and now have 6 x 1 TB drives but could go for 2TB or 3TB next if required.

sonnet storage










There is an excellent site called Mac upgrade that organises the site by machine and it tells you all the upgrades you can do to your machine.

G5 pci slots
G5 pci slots, SCSI, e-sata, Small Tree Ethernet, Graphics


1. Take the small tree card from edit 1 and put it in the G5

2. Fit the Mac pro with cabled rear port for e-sata as it has two connections on the mother board (from Sonnet)

3. Strip the G5 of the extra firewire 400 ports to make room (firewire 400 is so last decade)

4. Fit the G5 with a 4 port e-sata from Sonnet and Small Tree Ethernet.

Check it all works with an option if I feel it needs it to use MetaLan server and client from Tiger Technology.

Effectively metaLAN Server is ideally suited for environments looking at leveraging low cost Gigabit Ethernet, but requiring advanced connectivity features.

I think that going forward there will be more 2.5 inch SSD and hard drives coming in with rushes so a cheap e-sata JBOD encloser would be a great rushes docking station whether the rushes are to be copied or edited straight from the source!

I also need to decide on the new machine for Edit 2, maybe an iMac or a second hand Intel MacPro with a Quadro 4000 card to accelerate Adobe Production Premium. Will they ever bring out a MacPro with Thunderbolt?


Avid release Avid Studio on iPad!


Well not content with Apple getting all that business from the consumers they have released Avid on the iPad. I have not tried it yet but it is a sign of the times and there is more information to be found here.

It doesn’t indicate that you can migrate up the project created to Media Composer but it does say there will be Avid studio on a PC, more to follow.

The new Sublime Pictures site is up!


Well we are online and the site will shape up this week. Check back soon to see the content going in and services outlined. Our Manchester office is operational and has been working recently for Lime Pictures, Activideo Communications, Dollar Factory Films, Mark Davenport and others. The Livepool office is being fitted out and will be operational later in the year. We aim to provide grooming for your programme without breaking your bank, we believe you deserve sublime pictures.


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